From the food editor: From seafood to Instant Pot, here are some things I want to try in the new year

I want to make time to try new cooking techniques and dishes I have been afraid to embrace. Here are three specific things I want to try in 2019.
MICHELL STARK   |   TimesBowl of food. For 01/16/19 column
MICHELL STARK | TimesBowl of food. For 01/16/19 column
Published January 15
Updated January 15

Last week, I shared some of my antiresolutions, morsels of food advice I’m not going to waste my time with this year.

Now it’s time to be positive, and look ahead to food goals I want to accomplish in the months ahead.

This year, I want to make time to try new cooking techniques and dishes, food groups I shy away from and flavors I have been afraid to embrace. Here are three specific things I want to try in 2019.

Cook more fish: I’ve spent years trying to figure out why I have such a distaste for almost all seafood. Was I not fed enough of it growing up? Are some people just born with an aversion to lobster? Are my taste buds just too basic to appreciate the nuances of salmon? I think those are all valid reasons, and until this point I have accepted them. But I am a grown woman who cooks for herself, and I’d like to see if I can develop an appreciation for seafood. My first challenge is going to be scallops, which I have eaten at a restaurant and enjoyed and know do not require much laborious prep work at home. Stay tuned.

Get an Instant Pot: Okay, I have one, kind of. Not the actual Instant Pot but a knockoff pressure cooker that is just as easy to use. And I know I am not embracing the potential of this cooker. Everyone who has one loves it, raves about it, cooks elaborate meals full of flavorful meats and veggies in it. I think my hesitation comes from hating my slow cooker, and the gloopy meals it always produces. But for weeknight meals I can plan in advance and pull off in one cooking vessel, I am going to dust off the pressure cooker. First meal: something Indian.

Waste less: One of my major goals for 2019 is to label more of the food in my kitchen: the meals lurking in Pyrex containers in the fridge, the bag of flour sitting in the pantry, the spices in my spice rack. When did I open it? How long is it good for? The idea is to cut down on food waste. By knowing when I cooked something, I truly know when it’s time to throw it away. I can’t say I’m always savvy about that, opting sometimes too hastily to toss something because I think I made it eight days ago. Maybe another goal is to get a labelmaker? Also, use veggie scraps to make homemade stock.

Edamame Rice Bowls

For the bowls:

½ cup carrots, cut into large chunks

½ cup cauliflower florets

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

1 cup cooked brown rice

½ cup edamame, shelled

1 avocado, diced

4 tablespoons sliced scallions

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing:

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lime juice, preferably fresh

¼ cup lemon or orange juice, preferably fresh

2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper

¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange carrots and cauliflower on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and, with your hands, toss the veggies to coat with the oil.

Roast veggies for 20 minutes, until pretty soft and slightly browned.

Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processer and pulse a couple of times until combined and pretty smooth. Set aside.

Divide rice between two bowls.

Split the veggies, edamame and avocado between the bowls and arrange on top of the rice. Top both with scallions and cilantro. Drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving.

Serves 2.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

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